iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week after nearly two months of beta testing. With late-breaking additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now delivers over a dozen new features for the iPhone.
Below, we’ve rounded up many of the new features that come with iOS 16.2, including Apple’s new Freeform whiteboard app, two new lock screen widgets, the ability to hide wallpaper and notifications. on the iPhone 14 Pro’s always-on display, a new AirDrop setup, SharePlay support for Game Center, Live Activity improvements, and more.
Apple Music sing
Apple Music Sing is a new karaoke-like feature on the lyrics screen of the Apple Music app that lets you sing along to tens of millions of songs. The feature allows users to lower the voice volume in a song and then take over as the singer.
Apple Music Sing is compatible with devices with an A13 chip or newer, including iPhone 11 and newer, select iPads, and the latest Apple TV 4K.
Advanced data protection
iOS 16.2 introduces an optional Advanced Data Protection feature which, when enabled, extends end-to-end encryption to many additional categories of iCloud data, including Message Backups, Photos, Notes, Reminders, voice memos, etc.
Advanced Data Protection is currently limited to US users and will start rolling out to the rest of the world in early 2023, according to Apple.
iOS 16.2 includes Apple’s new Freeform digital whiteboard app on the iPhone. The app provides an endless canvas where you can draw and insert sticky notes, text boxes, shapes, photos, videos, links, PDFs, and more. The app is also available on iPad and Mac, and you can collaborate with others in real time via FaceTime and iMessage.
Freeform is more useful on the iPad given that the device supports the Apple Pencil, but you can still use a capacitive stylus on the iPhone.
Two new lock screen widgets
There are two new lock screen widgets for sleep and medicine in iOS 16.2. With the Sleep widget, you can view your most recent sleep session and sleep stages, while the Medication widget gives you quick access to your medication schedule.
New always-on display options
Starting with iOS 16.2, you can hide wallpaper and notifications in always-on display mode on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. As a result, the lock screen has a solid, minimal black appearance in always-on mode, similar to Android.
The new “Show Wallpaper” and “Show Notifications” toggles are located in the Settings app under Display & Brightness → Always On Display.
Live activities for sports scores via the Apple TV app
iOS 16.2 adds Live Activity support for sports scores through the Apple TV app. This feature allows iPhone users to view live scores of MLB, NBA and Premier League games at a glance on the lock screen and in the dynamic island on iPhone models. 14 Pro.
During a Premier League game, for example, the dynamic island displays a live updated scoreboard with the number of goals scored by each club. When you long press, the dynamic island expands to show elapsed time and play-by-play action. When an iPhone 14 Pro is locked, and on all other iPhone models, the score is displayed in a lock screen banner.
To use the feature with an iPhone running iOS 16.2, open the TV app and tap the “Follow” button for a supported game. Apple says the feature is available for NBA and Premier League games for users in the US and Canada, and for MLB games for users in the US, Canada, Australia, UK, Australia. Brazil, Mexico, Japan and South Korea.
New AirDrop setting
iOS 16.2 replaces AirDrop’s old “Everyone” setting with a limited “Everyone for 10 minutes” option to reduce unwanted requests from strangers. AirDrop now automatically reverts to “Contacts Only” after 10 minutes.
New Home Application Architecture
After updating to iOS 16.2 and opening the Home app, an app update is available with a new underlying architecture. Apple says the new architecture improves app performance, efficiency and reliability for controlling smart home accessories. This comes after the Home app added support for Matter accessories in iOS 16.1.
Other New Features
- SharePlay support in Game Center lets you play multiplayer games with the people you’re on a FaceTime call with.
- iOS 16.2 brings support for 5G networks in India to iPhone 12 and later, starting with carriers Airtel and Reliance Jio.
- The built-in Weather app now includes an Apple News section.
- Improved search in the Messages app lets you find photos based on their content, such as a dog, car, person, or text.
There are a few other changes and optimizations in iOS 16.2 as noted in the full release notes.
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